The Senate is scheduled to vote next week on President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE's pick to the lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a vote on Robert Wilkie's nomination for 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonCritical race theory becomes focus of midterms Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said earlier Thursday that the Senate should vote to confirm Wilkie “without delay.”
"It is of utmost importance that any policy changes that impact the future of the department be made by a confirmed VA secretary who can be held accountable by Congress and the American people," Isakson said.
Presidential physician Ronny Jackson, Trump’s initial pick, withdrew his nomination in April amid allegations of professional misconduct.
Wilkie's nomination has, by comparison, been fairly low key.
Questions were temporally raised about his nomination when The Washington Post reported that Wilkie has worked throughout his career for polarizing lawmakers and officials, whose controversial views he has defended.
But Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Polls open in California as Newsom fights for job MORE (Mont.), the top Democrat on the Senate's veterans panel, defended Wilkie, saying at the time that the nominee is qualified and a "good guy," and would wait to see Wilkie's response to the questions.
“That's why we’re having a hearing,” Tester said. “He’ll have an opportunity to answer some of those questions. Many of them happened 20 years ago.”
Wilkie defended his stance toward women and minorities during his confirmation hearing, telling lawmakers, "I will stand on my record.”
Wilkie was subsequently approved by the committee in a near-unanimous vote. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Pelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill top line higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war MORE (I-Vt.) voted against him.
Wilkie previously ran military personnel policy at the Pentagon for the Trump administration before serving as acting VA secretary. He stepped down from acting VA secretary after being nominated for secretary.